Repair guides and support for gas and electric hot water tanks, boilers and household heat exchangers.

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Is the thermostat defective

My gas hot water heater is releasing water through the overflow value on a constant basis, which I think is a sign of the water is overheating. Do I need to replace the thermostat?

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HI,I usually replace the sacrificial rod when its 80% gone. Its a rod of sacrificial material about 12" long for my RV water heater. It loses material by combining with the minerals in hard water. When it has been eaten away about 80% it unscrews from the bottom of the tank and a new one is installed. I flush the tank by removing the rod at the bottom of the tank and the pressure relief from the top and run water through until it runs clear. I then reinstall the relief valve and rod and let the tank fill before turning on the propane. Living in a RV you become your own electrician and plumber.Here is a link to a photo and description of the use of the rod. Ralph

http://www.waterheaterrescue.com/pages/W...

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This repair is potentially dangerous if done wrong. When hard water is heated, the carbonates precipitate out of solution, forming scale in pipes, tea pots, pans and the heater itself. In addition to narrowing and potentially clogging the pipes, scale prevents efficient heat transfer, so a water heater with scale will have to use a lot of energy to give you hot water. In West Texas we have extremely hard water. You can hear a water heater popping as the minerals heat. A 6-7 year old water heater can be as much as half full of this precipitated sludge. According to the U.S. Geological Survey, more than 85 percent of the United States geography has hard water. Around here we hook up a hose and drain the heater once a year to try to get rid of some of this stuff.

First, do you see a build up of any calcium around the valve? Consider shutting the gas off, draining the tank, removing and then replacing the overflow valve or cleaning it. The age of the heater has a lot to do with this, as well as where you live. If you use tap water for ice cubes, how much crud is in the bottom of the glass after the ice melts?

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Don't get in a hurry to do anything till we finish here as the pressure needs to be relieved and the water cooled before starting squat.

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Agreed on the need for cleaning. I live in a RV and clean mine twice a year and replace the sacrificial rod when required. You should always let a heater cool before working on it and relieve the pressure before removing anything. + Ralph

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Ralph, tell us more about the sacrificial rod, purpose off and what it does and when to replace it.

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Wish you would cut this out and post as an answer so I can vote it up. I take it this is this same type of ionic exchange used on ships to prevent rust. Do you know if they are used in standard gas or electric heaters? If so, how would they be labeled? Seems to me this would make a heater last much longer.

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Yes they are used in both gas and electric heaters. Then my heater is both gas and electric. Also some of the rods have electric heaters in them so you can convert a gas heater to electric. Ralph

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To check the the thermostate, turn of the power. Check the power supply at the water heater again then use a multimeter to see if you have continuity. It's probably not the thermostat in your case. The water is dripping from the pressure regulating valve. They rarely fail, a simple spring in the valve releases the pressure. I would recomend buying a water pressure testing gauge at a Hardware store. Just get a cheap one for $16. Instuctions and normal water pressure ranges will be included with the gauge. If you have excessive pressure you will need a pressure tank installed. If its normal than I would replace the valve.

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jim mancuso will be eternally grateful.
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